Role of the state in providing education to its citizens

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State—Man being a social animal must live along with others of his kind. But the life which he is to live should be an organized one, so that, he may enjoy the best results of his life.

Aristotle has aptly said, "he who is unable to live in society or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself must be either a beast or God".

Thus, all the people live an organized life a definite area and establish good relations with one another. Such an organized unit or agency is called state when it assumes political power and functions.

The term 'State' thus means a group of people occupying a definite territory, organized under a Government and who are subject to no outside control. Woodrow Wilson giving a very simple and matter-of-fact definition, says that the State is a "People organized for law within a definite territory".

State is an association and brings about co-ordination among various agencies. It is well-organized part of the society and helps in realizing various objectives of the society in a systematic and effective manner. It not only ensures peace and order in the society, but also promotes general well-being and prosperity of the human being. State, in fact, maintains and develops the human culture and civilization through ages.

Providing education is an important function of the State. Education prepares citizens for the State. Thus education and state are mutually related and one works for the other. Close relationship between state and education could be seen even in the ancient Greece.

In Sparta, one city-state of Greece, education was controlled by the state. Another city-state of the times was Athens where democracy was most important and education was provided for preparing its children for citizenship. The autocratic rulers like Hitler of Germany and Mussolini of Italy also provided as well as controlled education according to their policy and principles. Education was subordinate to the State.

Now we all believe in democracy and all the modern states seek to provide compulsory and universal education for success of democracy. Although some thinkers like Woodrow Wilson support the state control of education, others like J.S. Mill hate the same very much. In India the relationship between state and education has been very close as well as healthy. The Constitution of India declares education as a state subject.

The Central as well as state Governments are responsible for maintenance as well as improvement of education at all levels. Now education has been kept in the concurrent list for better financing of education and adequate control over the standards and quality of education.


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